Hurricane Maria

FCC funds broadband expansion in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

People try to get a cellphone signal in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria took down telecommunications networks
People try to get a signal before a cellular communications tower on the expressway in Dorado, Puerto Rico, in 2017 in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images.

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved a total of $950 million to bolster broadband networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 2 years after the islands sustained severe damage from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Why it matters: Hurricanes can wreak havoc on communications networks, making rescue and recovery efforts even more difficult.

Tropical Storm Karen takes aim at Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

 A woman walks next to the coast as tropical Storm Karen approaches in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, on September 24
A woman walks next to the coast as tropical Storm Karen approaches in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Rojas/AFP/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Karen triggered limited power outages, flooding and landslides to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as it barreled across the region early Wednesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The islands are still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria 2 years ago.